Punahou sends Hanford packing in Lopes opener
Steinhoff, Te'o power Punahou
STORY SUMMARY »
Leave it to the Punahou Buffanblu to keep alive some of that Merv Lopes spirit.
In the first round of the second annual Merv Lopes Holiday Classic, the Buffanblu outlasted Hanford (Calif.) 70-63 last night at King Armory Gym and was the only winner between a Hawaii and a mainland team yesterday.
Waiakea, Leilehua and Damien all dropped their opening games to one of five mainland visitors.
The four remaining non-Hawaii teams in the quarterfinals will pair up today, meaning no more interstate games occur in the winners' bracket until tomorrow's semifinals.
Kalaheo and Kamehameha-Hawaii meet at 7 p.m., while the Buffanblu play Mililani at 8:30.
FULL STORY »
Kameron Steinhoff and Manti Te'o wouldn't allow their team's unblemished record to end in a flurry of frustration and turnovers.
Steinhoff scored a game-high 22 points and Te'o added 16 off the bench -- including 10 in a breathless third quarter -- and top-ranked Punahou outlasted Hanford (Calif.), 70-63 last night in the first round of the Merv Lopes Holiday Classic at King Armory gym.
The Buffanblu, the only team to defeat one of the five mainland teams in the tournament, takes on No. 10 Mililani in the quarterfinals today at 8:30 p.m.
Every time the Bullpups threatened to hang a loss on the unbeaten Buffanblu using a mix of fullcourt pressure, speed and unorthodox play, Punahou (8-0) had an answer, usually in the form of a clutch putback or slick pass from Steinhoff, the Buffanblu's 6-foot-5 senior forward, or Te'o, a 6-foot-2 junior swingman.
The final turning point came when Steinhoff kept his cool while Hanford's Lemuel Hutchings couldn't late in the fourth. Hutchings fouled out, whacking Steinhoff on a made basket with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left, and when the Buffanblu forward attempted to slap hands, Hutchings pushed past him in disgust.
Steinhoff converted the old-fashioned three-point play and hit both technical foul shots to give Punahou an 11-point enduring lead.
"There was some trash-talking here and there, but we stayed in the game and pulled through," Steinhoff said.
When the Bullpups (12-3) closed to within 35-32 halfway through the third quarter, Te'o scored eight straight for Punahou to extend to a 10-point lead. Several times he leaked out to beat the Bullpup press, which resulted in 2-on-1s for easy layups.
"What coach did was, he let me loose, as far as running the whole court," Te'o said. "We felt that we had to take advantage of that (the press)."
Then Punahou turned over the ball four times in a 20-second span under its own basket, allowing an 8-0 Hanford run that allowed the Bullpups claw back to within two.
That's as close as it would get. Henry Cassiday stole the ball in the open court and drove in for a Buffanblu layup as the horn sounded at the end of the quarter.
Both teams had more than 20 turnovers by the end of the third, with many coming as players hit the deck scrambling for loose balls in midcourt scrums.
"You know, they're quick and they're fast and they sort of force you to play that kind of game," said Punahou coach Dan Hale.
"It challenged us to keep our heads and not turn it over too much."
Things were very ragged early, an up-and-down game as both teams fullcourt pressed with abandon. It didn't necessarily translate into much offense on either side.
"I thought we made a lot of mistakes tonight," said Hanford coach Brad Felder. "I thought at times we played really well, but we didn't shoot well from the line."
His team came in with a 10-game winning streak, but shot only 19-for-35 -- 54 percent -- on foul shots in the loss.
Point guard Frederick Williams and center DJ Jackson each had team-highs of 16 points for the Bullpups.
No. 10 Mililani 74, Kamehameha II 20
Mililani placed four players in double figures in a rout of Kamehameha's Division II team.
Kamehameha-Hawaii 48, Kailua 27
The Warriors dominated the Surfriders behind 17 points from Hogan Rosehill, and no Kailua player scored more than seven in the game.
Otay Ranch (Calif.) 48, Leilehua 37
Anthony Cosentino scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Mustangs over the Mules.
Thousand Oaks (Calif.) 67, Waiakea 54
Collin Cabatbat had a game-high 15 points as the Lancers downed the Warriors.
Bishop German (Nev.) 76, Damien 49
Kylel Coleman poured in 23 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the field. The Gaels jumped out to a 28-13 lead after the first quarter and were never threatened.
No. 6 Kalaheo 85, Hilo 42
Cheynne Lishman and Bruce Andrews scored 17 points each as the Mustangs routed the Vikings.
Our Lady (Md.) 74, Kahuku 29
Jordan Clarke scored 17 points to lead the visitors.
Jray Galeai had a team-high seven points for Kahuku.